27 Apr 2018

Forum to discuss Aborigines taken to Vanuatu 100+ years ago

3:42 pm on 27 April 2018

A group of people living in Vanuatu say they are being discriminated against because of their Aboriginal ancestry and are calling for official recognition from Australia.

The Australian newspaper quoted one of them, Vanuatu policeman Pakoa Rudy Rolland, as saying the problem had become so bad that more than 480 Aboriginal descendants on Tongariki were living as second-class citizens with restricted access to land and education.

The group is believed to have descended from Aborigines taken back to Vanuatu by sugar plantation workers, who themselves had been blackbirded, or enslaved by Queensland plantation owners in the 19th century.

A forum would be held this weekend at the University of South Australia to examine the issue, the Australian said.